The regal jumping spider is about the size of a dime when measured with its legs outstretched. It has large, distinctive eyes, a flat-faced appearance, and is best characterized by its quick, jerky movements.
Regal jumping spiders can be found in open woodland and field habitats. They often wander indoors where they are frequently found on the walls of buildings.
These spiders use their superb vision to find and catch prey (as well as to detect mates). They catch their prey by jumping on it.
What does a regal jumping spider look like?
These spiders, like most jumping spiders, are small. They generally only reach around half an inch or so in length. Males are always black, with alternating white and black fringes on their legs.
Females are larger than males with the same color pattern as males. However, they also have black dorsal areas that are covered with colorful scales. In Florida, most females have bright orange scales, though this can vary. Females also have four tufts of setae near their eyes, while males do not.
Most importantly, jumping spiders can be identified by their unique eye arrangement. They are arranged in three rows, with the fist containing four eyes, the second containing two tiny eyes, and the third row also containing two small eyes. The regal jumping spider is the largest and hairiest in the area.
What is the habitat of a regal jumping spider in Florida?
In Florida, regal jumping spiders feel right at home. They love the high temperatures and humidity! They are normally found around immature woodland habitats as well as indoors, usually climbing up walls or other surfaces.
What are the behaviors of a regal jumping spider?
Regal jumping spiders are unique in that they do not construct webs. Instead, they hunt prey during the day, jumping on their unlucky victims.
How dangerous is a regal jumping spider?
Regal jumping spiders are not dangerous. Although their jumpy behavior might make you feel a little bit jumpy yourself, you don’t have to worry about being bitten. These spiders only bite when threatened and even if you are bitten, it is unlikely to puncture your skin.
What should I do if I’m bitten by a regal jumping spider?
If you are bitten by a spider, seek medical attention (especially if you aren’t sure what kind of spider it was). You shouldn’t have any adverse symptoms when you’re bitten by a jumping spider (if you even notice that you were bitten at all). If you do, they should be limited to just a small amount of pain and swelling.
Genus & species: Phidippus regius
Regal Jumping Spider Facts and Myths
1. Fact: Regal Jumping Spiders Don’t Use Webs
Regal jumping spiders don’t make webs to capture their prey. However, they do use silk. They trail a dragline behind them to break their fall if they happen to miss a jump and females use their silk to build nests for laying their eggs.
Other than that, regal jumping spiders hunt their prey instead of capturing it in webs.
2. Fact: Regal Jumping Spiders Can Be Trained to Do Tricks
Although it’s not recommended that you try to hold one of these spiders in your hand – they can bite when held too tightly – these spiders are some of the easiest to tame. In fact, many people have been able to train them to jump back and forth between their hands.
3. Myth: Regal Jumping Spiders Are as Dangerous as Black Widows
This is a myth. Regal jumping spiders can bite, but it’s not a toxic bite. They are frequently confused with black widow spiders because they are large and black. However, black widows are not hairy at all and have longer, more spindly legs. Regal jumping spiders are harmless while black widow spiders can be quite dangerous.
4: Fact: Regal Jumping Spiders Eat Other Spiders
These opportunistic eaters will consume just about anything including other arthropods and even other spiders.
5. Fact: Regal Jumping Spiders Have Great Eyesight
…and with all the eyes they have, they really should have great eyesight, don’t you think? It is the spider’s four oversized eyes that help give them the best eyesight imaginable. While these small eyes provide a wide-angle view and help with motion, the larger eyes give them a detailed view of the world in color.
Photo Credit: David Hill, CC BY 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons